Opportunities and challenges of digital competencies for women tourism entrepreneurs in Latin America: a gendered perspective

Catheryn Khoo, Elaine Chiao Ling Yang, Rosalie Ying Yang Tan, Marisol Alonso-Vazquez, Carla Ricaurte-Quijano, Mathias Pécot, Doménica Barahona-Canales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

While increasingly more economic and social exchanges are taking place in the digital environment globally, women entrepreneurs’ access to, and adoption of, digital platforms cannot be assumed to happen naturally due to gender and social inequalities that are being replicated in the online environment. This study investigates the opportunities and challenges of entrepreneurial digital competencies for women tourism entrepreneurs (WTEs) in Latin America from a gendered perspective. A total of 33 interviews were conducted with women tourism entrepreneurs in Mexico and Ecuador. The findings reveal that women tourism entrepreneurs can and have been empowered through utilising digital technologies and digital platforms, but they face significant challenges and barriers, including the lack of digital competencies; lack of access to digital devices, infrastructure, and training; reliance on supporting staff and family members; and concerns around safety, security and work-life balance. This study contributes to existing entrepreneurship literature by identifying the social and structural inequalities that impede growth in women’s tourism business. The findings also highlight how women are disadvantaged in gaining digital competencies because of the macro gender digital divide and micro-level factors. Implications for women’s entrepreneurship policy development in relation to digital competencies are provided.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • digital competency
  • digital entrepreneurship
  • gender digital divide
  • Latin America
  • Women entrepreneur

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